It is nearly 10 PM and I just got off the phone with a student. I actually talked with two students tonight. Just helping them get into Bb 9 and get going. Enrollment for this course keeps growing. It is around 35 right now. Ya I have lost track.
I have some students who have already turned in assignments. So I was able to go and grade the assignments using the grade center. I had never done this before, and it was pretty easy. However there are a couple of things I will point out.
In Bb Vista you have an assignment drop box where you go to do everything. In Bb 9.1 you visit the grade center. So I did selecting assignments. In the column for that particular assignment (in the grade center) a nice green icon appears if there is an assignment that needs to be graded. Pretty cool indicator. Naturally I went to that icon to click on it. Well when you get to the that cell in the grade book a drop down box appears, you click on it and you can choose the attempt to grade. Pretty slick. I really like how the grading works for an assignment. One of the new options after grading a particular item, is save and next. It brought up the next student, expect that student had not turned anything in yet. Since I only had 4 that have turned it in so far, and the due date is still a few days away, I was hoping it would go to the next submitted assignment. It did not.
So thinking this through I can see that if the due date had passed, this is a quick way to grade everybody including those who did not submit. I am thinking, what if it gave you all those who had turned something in first, then went to those who had not. That seems logical to me.
The other cool option is you have the ability to turn off the students names so you can grade blind. That is a feature I know has been asked for on the forums for many years. I will have to give that a try.
I found a render error with discussions in Bb 9.1 using a Mac and Firefox or Safari. I reported that to UEN who has reported that to Bb. Basically as you expand discussions, the nice background web 2.0 background box does not expand down with the discussions. Causing them to be a bit unreadable when they extend into the grey background below the box. Not a big problem, but weird.
I am also noticing some issues with the VTE using Safari. Firefox is much better, but still a few quarks.
I consider the VTE a very important tool for faculty to use to build courses.
Another thing I would like is the due date to show on an assignment when it is in a content area. They do not. Perhaps a check box to allow it to show. I can see there might be some who do not want it, but others might.
So nearing the end of the first week. Assignments are not due until Wed by Midnight. But there are a lot of discussion postings, as students are introducing themselves, and a few questions in the Unit 1 discussion as students are figuring things out.
More to come